Friday, 9 January 2009

Two applications for safer computing

I recently suffered from the DNSChanger trojan. This particularly nasty piece of malware changes the DNS settings on the infected PC to a server which then redirects the web browser either to advertising or more maliciously to phishing sites. Unfortunately the virus checking software that I was using at the time - AVG Free - failed to pick up the trojan.

This failure along with a number of other gripes that I had with AVG resulted in me looking for a new free anti-virus package. In the end I decided on Avira AntiVir Personal, after having read good things about it on a number of forums. The only issue that I have with this software is that it pops-up an advertisement every time that it updates, but this is a small price to pay. Avira has something of a reputation for finding a lot of false positive, which is when a safe file is mistakenly identified as a virus; however, this is preferable to the opposite problem, when the software fails to identify an infected file.

I finally managed to remove the trojan from my PC using the excellent Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. A version of this software is available for free that allows you to scan your drives for any infections. You can pay for another version that offers real-time protection from malware.

14 comments:

qiwoman said...

I will take a note of this as I always get trojans and have to keep resetting the ruddy comp! This is great and I will show it to Hubby as he is a expert. I am an seo tech virgin.

Shen said...

Thanks for the tip. Will check this out.

Aria said...

Great Site! How'dja know what I yell at my 'puter? LOL Just wanted to drop a line and let you know I like your 'plain-speak' so much I added a link to you on my blog... Great day to you, Kevin!

Jane Doe said...

I'll have to check these out. I pay $70 or something like that to McAfee a year, yet I keep getting Trojans on my computer. Even after I get one and I run a scan to remove it after the fact McAfee still doesn't catch it. Thanks for the info.

Stepterix said...

Thank you all for leaving comments. I will keep you all informed of any new quality freeware security tools that I find.

Nathan said...

Even though it costs a little bit of money, I'd suggest going for Nod32, which has won an enormous amount of awards for being excellent anti-virus protection. I've been using it myself for three years, and in those three years I've got about 20 viruses, and they've all been cleaned up incredibly quickly.

Also, Nod32 has built in browser protection, to stop you landing on such phishing sites

Stepterix said...

Nathan: Thanks for the long-term user review. Nothing compares to extensive field testing.

chronicchicktalk.com said...

I use kapersky for firewall and antivirus. Its been good so far takes a little getting used to, but its been a decent program so far. I have used malwarebytes and its been good. I will never use mcafee again. If you get a bug they charge about 80.00 dollars and are rude.

Farlin Paulino (Blaze) said...

Use Avast, reliable and best of all, free. I've never had any problems with it except the Big noise it makes when it finds a virus. That scared me the first time.

Stepterix said...

cctalk: have heard good things about Kaspersky and your experience of McAfee chimes with what I have heard also.

Farlin: Avast was going to be my second choice if Avira did not satisfy my requirements.

SonnyJim said...

I've used Avira for the last couple of years, and I must say I am really impressed with its detection rates. I like to test my computer's security, and have used a lot of virus simulation sites, and Avira has caught each one of them right away. Before Avira I used McAfee, and I have to admit that I threw money away on them when I could have been using Avira the entire time for free.

Another feature of Avira's that I like is that it delays the autorun of things like flash drives, and automatically stops them from running until the user says it's ok.

Stepterix said...

SonnyJim: McAfee thrive on laziness and ignorance. Their software comes pre-installed on so many machines offering free protection (of sorts) for a while. When that period runs out McAffee software can prevent access to the web, not unlike those Internet protection scams.

Kaspersky Contact said...

This failure along with a number of other gripes that I had with AVG resulted in me looking for a new free antivirus package.

AVG Help by VNSupport said...

Thanks for a good post. Really Internet security is very necessary for web users. All users should be aware about internet frauds and scams.